Day 291: A cyclist’s advice for drivers

21 10 2010

Some random tips I’d like to share with car drivers. A future post will include tips for cyclists’ behavior toward cars.

  • It’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk unless you’re under age 11.
    Last weekend, Carrick and I were riding in the bike lane near the intersection of Lexington Road and Grinstead Drive. As we prepared to stop at the stop light, a kid (around age 6) yelled out a car’s window, “Get off the road!” We laughed (it was just a kid after all), but I’m shocked at how many adults feel that bikes should be on sidewalks. This article by EcoVelo is just one of many that explains the dangers of riding on sidewalks.
  • Use your side mirror before opening your car door.
    I’ve had several close calls with car doors lately. Usually when I’m riding in a bike lane. People, please look in your mirror before you open your door. This is exactly the reason why many cyclists feel safer “taking the lane” when we know it won’t slow down traffic.
  • Don’t park your car in the bike lane.
    Those small little lanes that are painted with a bicycle symbol? Those are called bike lanes. For bikes. Please stop parking your car in the bike lane when you’re feeling too lazy to parallel park.
  • Don’t follow me too closely.
    I may encounter road debris or a hole, causing me to make a decision to slow down suddenly, swerve or take the lane.
  • Please use turn signals.
    When I ride, I signal my intentions for lane changes by using hand/arm signals. This lets drivers near me know what I plan to do. Please extend the same courtesy to cyclists.
  • Don’t honk as you pass me.
    Honking at me as you pass does you no good. I just ignore you. I have a small rear-view mirror on my helmet. I see you. I know you’re passing me. Laying on the horn as you drive by just makes you seem like an a-hole.
  • Be courteous.
    This applies to both cyclists and drivers. A smile or a simple wave can go a long way in making someone feel good.

For more information on bike laws in Kentucky, please visit Bike Louisville’s Rules of the Road page.

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Strawberry banana smoothie = 4 points

Lunch:
— Chicken salad = 5 points
— 1 pita pocket = 2 points
— Iced tea = 0 points
— 1 small bag multigrain Sun Chips = 4 points

Weight Watchers weigh-in today! I met my first 10 pound goal. I plan to lose another 12-15, but so far I’m happy with the results. I’m sure I’d lose quicker if I’d work out more and stop eating soft pretzels for dinner. 🙂

Dinner: We tried a new neighborhood restaurant, Eiderdown, that just opened yesterday. Good food and friendly people.
— Chicken sandwich with “Centennial hop and apricot” (whatever that is) = I have no idea the points. I’m estimating around 8?
— Iced tea = 0 points

Snack:
— Skinny Cow ice cream bar = 2 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.

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2 responses

22 10 2010
Apertome

Well said! The “get off the road” comments really get to me. I wish people understood that sidewalk riding is illegal, but you see so many people doing it, and people are mostly conditioned to believe that that is the way it should be done, that it’s sort of understandable that they don’t know any better. But, frustrating!

22 10 2010
Alice - cyclingproject365

It is surprising how many people think it’s safer than riding on the street. One of our Metro Council people rides all over town. Always wears a helmet, has reflectors, lights, etc, but always rides on the sidewalk. Makes me cringe every time I see them. I guess it’s one of those frustrating arguments people will always disagree on.

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